Tuesday, March 18, 2008, posted by Auto Rider at 6:07 PM


At the Geneva International Motor Show, the leanest, greenest automobiles were displayed. And with more stringent vehicle emissions standards, an increasing number of green cars will soon hit the roads.

Among the horde of small cars that made their official debut are Ford Motor Co.'s Fiesta, Toyota Motor Corp.'s iQ, and Fiat’s 500 Aria. The cars flaunt carbon dioxide emissions of under 100 grams per kilometer. As such, they prove that automakers can beat the EU proposal for a fleet average of 130 grams by 2012.

Tata Nano, dubbed the cheapest car worldwide, was also displayed to wow the Europeans. The new People’s car bearing a price sticker of $2,500 plus tax and delivery will be initially available in India, the automaker’s home territory. Nonetheless, Tata is in the process of enhancing the car’s emissions ratio and safety features to compete closely with global automakers in the near future.

General Motors Corp.’s new Chevrolet Aveo, a five-door vehicle from the automaker’s best-selling brand, was also shown at the motor show to pull green aficionados closer.

More and more green cars are produced but one of the loopholes seen on the emission proposal was tackled in Brussels. Discussions reveal that automakers pool their fleets with those of companies manufacturing more efficient automobiles.

Greenpeace, a leading environmental group, said even tighter emissions targets than those in the EU proposal are needed if climate change is to be reigned in. Martin Lloyd of Greenpeace accused automakers of "greenwashing" with a few eco models while continuing to sell heavier, faster and less efficient vehicles. "The industry knows what it has to do and it has the technology to do it," Lloyd concluded.

According to an Associated Press release, about 20 activists protested at the Geneva show demanding that automakers rethink what makes a good car and calling for average fleet emissions to be limited to 120 grams per kilometer by 2012, and 80 grams by 2020.

There is also an impending threat that automakers could pass the cost to auto shoppers. As such, it would increase hundreds of dollars to the sticker price of cars. It won’t be long for automakers to impose much higher prices.

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